Estela Cuadro – Art Interview
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Estela Cuadro. I was born in 1979 in Buenos Aires, Argentina where I live nowadays. I find it difficult to say something about myself because I don’t really know where to start. Morning are spent by my little garden and my studio, where I spend much of my time.
Was there a starting point to your art-making? Have you studied professionally or have you developed skills on your own?
When I was four-years-old I left classical dance classes and my mother took me to a [art] studio. When I was five-years-old I took my first steps as an artist. I could then introduce myself to the art world. Since I was young and I learned a lot of things from different painters, from art books and in other ways. It is very important to help children to continue to do the activities they like.
Silvia Mato [Estela's teacher] was an important guide for me. She helped me to understand my body language, the energy and many other things, turning all that into my drawings.
Your art is very surreal and dreamlike – how do you go about constructing your works? Is it difficult to come up with subject matter?
I have no worries with art. That’s the beauty and enjoyment of doing artworks. Art is completely free to generate images of nothing. Exploring something new, whether it be characters, landscapes, animals, fruits or plants. I like that my art is not exactly real, belonging completely to imaginary worlds. I admire realistic art, but I can’t be part of it, it is not what inspires me. I think that much of my time is spent connected to my unconscious. Really art in all disciplines is fascinating.
I think if I had to choose the things I want to do now, all are associated with it, like music, writing, sculpture, ceramics, love, gardening, dance… Art doesn’t have to be beautiful or ugly, art is accepted by the people who see it . It is very subjective, each person can perceive different things. The important thing is to enjoy it.
What is your favourite medium to work with?
I love acrylic and watercolors, on stands that slide easily. I like the speed of the water, cooking salt, detergent. But I try to incorporate something new.
Who are artists that you admire?
Frida Kahlo, Amy Cutler, Pablo Picasso, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gustav Klimt, Bansky, Klimt and Paul Klee. Also as some renowned Argentine artists like: Carlos Alonso, Xul Solar, Antonio Berni, León Ferrari, Carlos Nine, Kuitca, Regazzoni.
I feel that the very good Argentine emerging artists are: Hernán Paganini, Daniel Mochi, José Saccone, Lorena Ruiz, TEC Fase, Defi, Na Sa, Agustín Sciannamea, TOCCO (Francisco Miranda), Matías Malizia, Mara Caffarone, Nat Filippini.
How did growing up in Buenos Aires influence your artmaking?
In Buenos Aires, there is a lot to see and learn about art. There are very talented emerging artists, friends that I admire and we grow together in this way. Living from art, especially in Argentina, is very difficult. So many times my thoughts go to other countries in search of this trip. Unfortunately few people here appreciate art and the real cost of it, so nowadays making a living from our works is complicated.
You have just launched your new website, what are your plans for the remainder of 2014?
Continue growing, learning and creating new things.
If you like the look of Estela Cuadro’s artwork, you can see many more of her illustrations on her website.
Interview by Carol Bowditch.